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The Explorers Club Lecture Series: “Salmon – Great Leap For A Future”

August 24, 2020, 7 pm8 pm.


The Explorers Club today announced the next installment of its virtual public lecture series, titled “Salmon – Great Leap For A Future,” will explore wild salmon to explain its place in culture, history, sport and it’s inherent link to the health of our planet as the “King of Fish.”
Featuring Emmy Award winning decorator for television, film and theatre, Deirdre Brennan; four-time Emmy award-winning filmmaker, Rick Rosenthal; award winning author and journalist, Mark Kurlansky; President and CEO of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Bill Taylor; researcher and fisheries expert, Ken Whelan; Vice President of Research and Environment of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Jonathan Carr; Research Fisheries Biologist with NOAA Fisheries’ Atlantic Salmon Ecosystem, Tim Sheehan; President & CEO of the Wild Salmon Center, Guido Rahr;  and the Director for the north Pacific Region of the International Year of the Salmon initiative for the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, Mark Saunders; the online discussion, scheduled for Monday, August 24, titled “Salmon – Great Leap For A Future” will showcase how the mysterious world of salmon to learn what is happening out there, how they are faring, and what we need to do to save both wild salmon and ourselves.

WHEN: 7:00 pm, August 24, 2020
WHERE: Viewable at Explorers.org and Facebook Live
Deirdre Brennan is an Emmy Award winning decorator for television, film and theatre. Her passion for wildlife and conservation led her to form Castletown Productions in 2003 to make films about rare and endangered species. Her most recent film, Atlantic Salmon – Lost at Sea, narrated by Gabriel Byrne, is a scientific detective story that seeks to unravel the mystery of the disappearing wild Atlantic salmon. It is a silent extinction few know about. She partnered with the Atlantic Salmon Federation, The Ocean Foundation and other key international salmon organizations, salmon scientists and conservationists worldwide to make the film to raise awareness and inspire audiences.

Rick Rosenthal is a four-time Emmy award-winning filmmaker and the recipient of numerous other internationally recognized awards for his cinematography of the natural world. At university, Rick pursued postgraduate studies in marine biology and oceanography. He holds advanced degrees from California State University at San Diego. Leaving California and his work as a marine biologist at Westinghouse Ocean Research Laboratory and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Rick was a pioneer in underwater research in Alaska. As a scientist, Rick has written and published more than 45 scientific papers and popular articles on marine biology, ecology and animal behavior. Underwater camerawork played an essential part in his marine research.

Mark Kurlansky is an award winning author and journalist that has published 33 books, including fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. His articles have appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including The International Herald Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, Partisan Review, Harper’s, New York Times Sunday Magazine, Audubon Magazine, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appetite and Parade.

Since 1995, Bill Taylor has served as President and CEO of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, an international conservation force of more than 24,000 members and volunteers. Under Bill’s leadership, ASF has executed major habitat renewal projects, like the 16-year, $63-million-dollar Penobscot River Restoration. He has served as an NGO representative to numerous international conservation boards and committees, facilitated the transfer of knowledge and capital to kickstart closed containment aquaculture, and most recently helped negotiate a 12-year conservation agreement to curtail the harvest of wild Atlantic salmon in Greenland.

Ken Whelan Over his career Ken Whelan worked for several research organizations in Ireland and as an Executive Director in the Irish Marine Institute. He has a wide experience in the fields of fisheries science, stock dynamics of Atlantic salmon and sea trout, climate change impacts on migratory fish stocks and science communications. He served as President of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization from 2004 to 2008. As President he helped coordinate and manage the major SALSEA or Salmon at Sea Programme (2008 to 2011).Ken was Chairman of the International Atlantic Salmon Research Board from 2007 to 2011 and is currently Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Loire Basin Salmon Restoration Programme. In December 2009 he was appointed as Adjunct Professor in the School of Biology and Environmental Science at University College Dublin and as Research Director of the Atlantic Salmon Trust.

Jonathan Carr, M.Sc. is the Vice President of Research and Environment of the Atlantic Salmon Federation. His tenure at ASF began in 1992 to conduct research on wild and farmed salmon interactions, and this led to obtaining his Master’s degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1995. Jon joined ASF fulltime in 1997 as a biologist and was appointed to lead the Research Department in 2010. He has more than 25 years of experience in the management, restoration and conservation of wild fish, including endangered and threatened populations. Jonathan has been published widely and has served in several capacities related to fisheries research and policy. Much of his research has focused on the marine ecology and behavior of Atlantic salmon, fish passage at hydro dams, impacts of exotic species, stock assessment, and interactions between wild and escaped farmed salmon.

Tim Sheehan is a Research Fisheries Biologist with NOAA Fisheries’ Atlantic Salmon Ecosystem and Research Team in Woods Hole, MA. He has been working on the recovery and restoration of Atlantic salmon for 20+ years and a primary focus of his work has been international and science and management. Tim first traveled to Greenland to sample Atlantic salmon in 1999 and he has been overseeing and conducting research there ever since. Tim is the Program Coordinator for the International Sampling Program, which annually collects biological characteristics data and samples from the Atlantic salmon commercial fishery at West Greenland. He is also a project lead for an ongoing satellite tagging program that aims to map the marine migration of Atlantic salmon from Greenland to natal rivers.

Under Guido Rahr’s leadership, Wild Salmon Center has developed scientific research, habitat protection and fisheries improvement projects in dozens of rivers in Japan, the Russian Far East, Alaska, British Columbia and the US Pacific Northwest, raising over $100 million in grants, establishing eight new conservation organizations, and protecting three million acres of habitat including public lands management designations and eight new large scale habitat reserves on key salmon rivers across the Pacific Rim.

Mark Saunders currently works for the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission as the Director for the north Pacific Region of the International Year of the Salmon initiative. He retired several years ago from the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans where he headed up a Salmon, Aquaculture and Freshwater Ecology Division at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, B.C. with staff working on salmon stock assessment, freshwater habitat, molecular genetics, fish health, and marine ecology.

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